Mai Phan Loi has jail term reduced by three months hinh anh 1Mai Phan Loi at court (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The High-Level People’s Court of Hanoi has reduced the prison sentence handed down to Mai Phan Loi, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Centre for Media in Educating Community (MEC), by three months in an appeal trial on August 11.

Accordingly, Loi will spend 45 months in prison for tax evasion instead of 48 months in the first-instance verdict.

His accomplice Bach Hung Duong, MEC Director, also received a revised sentence of 27 months, down from 30 months.

MEC was founded in 2012 under a decision by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations. It is funded mostly by grants and donations from domestic and foreign organisations.

As a stakeholder, Chairman of the Founding Board and Chairman of the Scientific Council of MEC, Loi directed MEC’s all activities.

From 2012 to March 2021, MEC recorded funding of over 19 billion VND (826,000 USD), but whenever MEC received financial support, Loi instructed Duong and his subordinates to hold back financial statements and avoid submitting corporate income tax and value added tax declarations to tax agencies in line with regulations.

As the main culprit, Loi was found to avoid tax payment of over 1.9 billion VND. He has so far paid back a total 1.2 billion VND to the court./.